GLAMPING - A global trend
Repostfrom Nordisk GO magazine 2018
How did it become a major trend and how will it evolve in the future?
By Jesper Bo Jensen, futurist, ph.d. CEO at Centre for Future Studies.
The world economy is back on a positive track and the financial crisis in 2008/09 is almost forgotten. But things have changed and the old world is not coming back. Consumption as a religion, big shopping sprees as amusement, and the fallacy of indeptness taking out mortgage loans over the rooftop of our houses, is not coming back.
Today we are again looking at a brighter future and our priorities as consumers have changed. We do not need the biggest house or car in town. Instead consumers are more engaged in nature, health and organically grown products. The trend “back to nature” has been significant for some years now as a reaction to the global financial crisis and the over-consumption. Worldwide people long for, or desire to, live with old values and giving them a redesign. An ever growing trend over the last years is our focus on health, healthy lifestyle, nutrition and superfood, doing exercises in order to keep our bodies strong and fit – and this trend will rise increasingly in the coming years.
The new luxury
The new luxury is different from the old one. Many will still purchase some very expensive items from major brands, although that has changed too. Luxury sales normally grows from the bottom of an economic crisis and most of the way out of it. Since the last financial crisis luxury has been growing, but at the same time consumers has expanded their view of luxury into new ways.
The new luxury is primarily composed of what modern consumers think and feel is a scarce commodity to them like time, attention, space and room, peace and quietness. Time is becoming a scarce good as we are connected via smartphones 24/7 and accessible to bosses, family and friends at any time. We want to regain our time, just as we want to regain our own space and room. Monkey class is okay as long as we arrive at the right destination. We want peace too, so we can recharge before getting back to our daily life.
Presence and nature
Just as time is, attention is a scarce good too. Getting the full attentive presence of a member of our family or from good friends is difficult today, where smartphones, streamed video and music is all around us thanks to the 24/7 access to the internet. Still, we also demand full attention from our next of kin and friends.
Another issue is nature. Nature is hot and spending time outdoor is hot. Spending time in outdoor settings is even hotter. Take it all together and add an extra little luxury – time for ourselves, attention of family and friends, nature, peace and quietness – and you get Glamping. Adding a little glamour to camping brings it right in the middle of the desires of modern consumers. Staying in a big tent in the middle of nature with plenty of space and real furniture, eating luxury food from the fireplace outside and having a good chat with your friends and family is modern luxury!
Situated in beautiful nature close to at beach, in the deep forest by a small lake, in the desert or on a small island you suddenly have a very attractive holiday destination. It might not be the place to stay for two weeks of vacation, but it is a great place to spend a night or two, at few days or a full week. Combine it with other features such as sports, trekking, safari or even hunting, and most people would love to stay there even longer.
Add health and health trends to the diet together with opportunities for sports, exercises, wellness and mental health training or meditation, and you have a total package of what we long for and miss in our everyday life. That’s why Glamping is so hot. It is the new luxury in a box.
It’s a scary world out there!
Nobody can ignore global warming. What do we have to do to rescue the world we know? Terror is the reality of many major cities around the world today. Wars and refugees are realities of our world with new unsafe locations in the world – and uncertainty about the future presented in the media every day. Staycation (staying at home for vacation) popped up as a new trend under the financial crisis.
Glamping thrives on all these trends too. Nature is present and destinations are not that far away giving a hand to reducing CO2 emission. People can stay at a safe place away from the bigger cities and close to nature and still enjoy a bit of luxury at the same time.
It also embraces a very important part of modern consumption named conspicuous consumption. Today we are able to show our friends and family instantly what we are doing. Social Media makes it possible.
So posting a nice picture or video from your evening in the glamping tent or outside showing the whole setting with chefs cooking outdoor, torches and outdoor dining does the trick. It is certainly a pattern of consumption we find attractive to show to our friends and family.
Uncertainty and insecurity around the world are nurturing Glamping as a trend. As we see it, the world is most probably becoming more uncertain and unsecure in the coming years as China becomes an even more dominant power, as India regain further strength, as Russia battles to regain its former global position, as the US is redefining their role under mr. Trump, and as Britain leaves the EU. Not to mention North Korea, The Middle East, parts of Africa and other regional conflicts. Therefore, Glamping is in sync with the present situation, and probably will be for the coming years.
Generations and Glamping
Generations experience Glamping in different ways. For seniors (the baby boomers born 1940-55), glamping reminds them of camping, which they know so well from their younger days – but now with an addition of luxury and comfort.
Generation X (born 1967-1979) might have been on camping with their parents as kids, but since those days vacations have mostly been airborn travels to hotels and vacation sites. They loved shopping tours to the major cities of the world and still have a great affection for high end brands. When they go glamping they see it as a totally new way of staying in nature, while at the same time they are being treated as the most exclusive guests in the world.
Generation Y (born 1980-89) already had the affection of brands and high class life style before the financial crisis, but being rather young at the time they quickly turned to retro in style, interior design and food fashion instead of high end brands. For them glamping is a new way of going back to nature. They love the rustic look of the interior at glamping camps, the rough way of cooking and the feeling of being in nature – and some of them take it all the way to actually sleeping outdoor under an open sky.
Generation Z (born 1990-2001) likes to be even more outdoor, and nature plays a major role in the way they spot the luxury in glamping. Add fishing, gathering of berries and mushrooms and even hunting with bow and arrow and you have the picture of a young generation taking glamping further into nature.
The coming years will show what generation New Millenium (born 2001-12) will do to glamping. Augmented reality changing the perception of nature, friends around you and of cause the glamping site itself will be a part of their take on glamping.
Extreme sport is fashionable. We are longing for the ultimate experience that comes with five marathons or triathlons in five days. Climbing the highest mountains without air supply, diving with sharks or running around the world for 6 months.
Extreme Glamping would be extremely luxurious camping. Bigger tents or three tents to a couple, the finest destinations in the world at really spectacular sites in nature, having the finest food in the region and being with the most interesting people you will ever meet in a social setting. Make it half or just 20% of the way, and you probably hit the glamping trend in a few years from now. Get there today, and you will get the best possible guests already today.
One of the more extreme versions of Glamping already exists north of the Polar Circle. Get up to the northern part of Norway. The destination has all the ingredients of a comfortable, yet adventurous Arctic adventure: A dogsledding trail, sauna, hot tub and an overnight stay in a glamping tent overlooking a snowcapped landscape.